In Memory of Florene S Penney

Florene S. Penney, 96, passed away on Dec 5, 2023 in Mesa, AZ with family by her side. She was born on March 30, 1927 in Milford, Texas to Paul and Ethel Smith. Florene married James Penney on March 17, 1950; they celebrated 62 years together before James passed away in August 2012.

Florene was the valedictorian of her high school graduating class. She worked for the government in Dallas during WWII where she was a stenographer and punched key cards. She was there in 1945 when WWII ended and was one of the women famously dancing in the streets. She lived and made great friends all across the world during her husband’s time in the Air Force: Arlington, TX; Rantoul, IL; Stockton, CA; Yokota and Haijima Station, Japan; Sherman, TX; Long Beach, MS; Waco, TX; Fakenham and Sculthorpe RAF, England; Sumpter, SC; finally retiring from the Air Force and moving to Alamogordo, NM in 1965.

Shaped by her experiences growing up in the Great Depression, Florene adopted a frugal lifestyle, holding a deep appreciation for her possessions. She enjoyed second-hand shopping and garage sales, always considering the needs of her friends and acquaintances in the process.

Her favorite pastimes were drinking coffee (not too strong), poring over maps (Texas, especially), talking on the phone, sewing, checking the weather, and hearing a good local news story. She was proficient in shorthand and wrote notes and reminders to herself on every available scrap of paper. She loved sharing information she thought would be helpful to others, had the best memory (often recollecting every name, date, and detail), and always had one more story to tell.

Florene was kind and spunky with a playful sense of humor, while also strong-willed, direct, and determined; she was completely loved as she was and we will miss her dearly.

She is survived by sons Eddy (Terry) Penney and Dan (Joyce) Penney of Otero County, NM; her daughter Joan (Roger) Hawkins of Mesa, AZ; daughter-in-law Vickie Penney of Denver, CO; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband James Penney, son Jary Paul Penney, and sister Dorris McCauley.

A private interment will be held at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Santa Fe, NM at a later date.

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